January 18, 2013

How to prepare the weekly revenue management meetings at your hotel?

This post is providing answers to the regular emails I get from Revenue Managers, in U.A.E non chain hotels:  how to lead in my position and impose myself in my hotel environment?

In independent properties, revenue managers are still more assimilated as reservation managers with heavy combined duty tasks on printing reports, analyze and trying to guide the hotel on the yield strategies it should follow.

Let's focus on the U.A.E market; revenue managers effectively hold a title.  As per their job description and latest trends, they report to the General Manager who understand the processes of yielding rates and managing inventory. But in reality, the revenue managers are spending most of their times with the Director of Sales, feeding them with data and trends. Many times the D.O.S (Director of Sales) of the hotel property has a strong personality, great public relations skills and market/clients knowledge that allow them to impress. The D.O.S is then more keen to take decision with gut feelings as opposed to the Revenue Manager who lead by facts and analysis. Here come the first dilemma.

My Dear Revenue Managers,

One of the key aspects of leading your position in Revenue Management is that the strategies must be followed by all departments of the hotel. This is why the revenue management culture must be created throughout the property and a weekly (at least) revenue management meeting of all key departments should be held. This is your meeting, you need to arrive prepared and tackle your points vs. possible people who will disagree. In few words, you need to: "LEAD THE GROUP."

The main purpose of the meeting is to focus on maximizing revenue in high demand and push the occupancy on low dates, but you should also:

1) Communicate the performance facts:
- Actual overall room revenues vs. forecast vs. budget,
- Actual market segmentation room nights and revenues vs. forecast vs. budget,
- Find explanations: everybody can read figures, ratio, variances but not everyone can understand why your property is ahead or behind your forecast; whatever you lose in the period analysis, you should better come with solutions how to gain in the remaining days left.
- Discuss your market share performance and how do you plan to gain in position to be the market leader,
- Discuss the turn aways and cancellation statistics with the reservation and the front office to adjust your overbooking and inventory restrictions,

2) Adjust the forecast in occupancy, rate, RevPAR, market share and GOP:
- Evaluate trends with your pickup reports: it is always advisable to be the most details person during that person, so I would recommend to bring pickup reports by market segment,
- Review your On The Books for the week, the next 30-60-90 days,



3) Discuss and agree on strategies going forward:
- Prepare your pricing analysis for you vs. the competitors,
- Analyze your competitor room types positioning, as you may have a competitor selling a higher rate but you may not understand that this is their second room types categories, which may lead you in a different judgments (Competitor room types configuration is a must),

4) Ensure all departments are on the same page and understand their roles in achieving RevPAR and profit goals:
- You cannot push your revenue tactics to gain maximum in ADR, while you will have someone at the front office or in sales giving complimentary upgrade to clients,
- Sales need to be effective in the control of their performing vs. non performing key accounts management; I am sure you had a case of "Let's make an exception for this client, and give him a standard room, when standard rooms are not available". The sales manager will rather accept the bookings for his/her relationship (future big account?) rather than declining it.
- Reservation manager should think revenue rather than order taking,
- Many times the group draft a strategy but does not stick to it, bringing dozens of excuses,
- Monitor the deviation and report it to the next meeting session, bearing in mind that everyone can take some control risks,

Allocate sufficient time 60-90mn and prepare an Agenda for the meeting.

Attendees recommendation:
- Revenue manager to lead the meeting, provide analytics, challenge, confront, foster team decisions, draft revenue minutes and action plan,
- Director of Sales and Marketing provide overall sales direction (blitz, corporate meetings, groups status, future groups),
- E-distribution ensure that all the distribution campaigns are in place for the need periods and are not being run when not needed. Observe the needed periods as e-distribution have tendency to add inventory for OTA, in periods where it is better to sell Best Available Rates (BAR rates),
- Reservation Manager should ensure that reservation department understands the occupancy needs and have appropriate selling strategies in place,
- Front Office should ensure that up selling strategies are in place to avoid upgrade (revenue loss), they should communicate peak check-in/check-out,
- Financial Controller has to provide the overall profitability performance and impact of revenue management decisions,
- Event Manager has to monitor the groups after contracting (sign contract) so they can manage the block accurately,
- General Manager, when available and to push for the revenue culture,

Variances may be observed

Shall you need some assistance for the best revenue management strategies and strategic weekly revenue meetings, you can contact us at info@rsvp-hospitality.com and we would assist at one of your revenue meetings and would provide you our feedback, free of charge.

Cheers,

Romain Saada
Founder
RSVP Hospitality Dubai


4 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the article very much. The information is very real. This is happening in the hotel of Dubai. Is this practices are applicable to other countries?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Charlie, you can apply those practices to any countries and any hotel structure as long as you collect some types of data. Data could be room nights daily statistics, average rate, K.P.I (key performance indicator), clients key account statistics, market share performance, competitor information on pricing, third party demand analysis. The Revenue Management is a secret to strong commercial enterprises. By maintaining performance strength in business-related tasks, a company gives itself both longevity and high profits. I experience Revenue Management projects for: Hotel, restaurant, banquet rooms, telephone department, business centre, parking, transportation limousine, laundry, hair salon, cinema, sports events, amusement park, water park. Whatever perishable market is suitable for a revenue management project.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great points about hotel revenue management, thanks for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete

We thank you for participating in our Revenue Management discussions, and look forward to bring you the best of our ideas. For more information, please visit our company website at www.rsvp-hospitality.com